Bitdefender's chief security strategist offers advice on protecting your files online

Don’t get caught with your pants down: 9 ways to not be seen naked on the internet

The leaking of several Hollywood celebrities’ nude photos onto the internet has sparked BitDefender into action – here are its top tips for not being seen naked online.

Here’s some advice from the software firm’s chief security strategist Catalin Cosoi:

1. Avoid storing pictures on a device

Last year, a total of 290,651 devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets were reported stolen In the UK. Smartphone theft is so common that, in the US, all devices will be pre-equipped with anti-theft capabilities by next year.

2. Keep secure backups 

Keep backups on Hard Disk Drives or other less portable devices. This will securely store your confidential and sensitive documents. Make sure that the hard drive is kept well away from an internet connection, as any internet-connected device can be an open door for hackers at some point. 

3. Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt

It may seem an overhyped functionality, but making your data undecipherable to hackers is a strong defence. Latest generation Android devices have an embedded full-device encryption feature that can encrypt all data, including applications, downloaded files and pictures.

4. Protect your accounts

Especially protect your online storage accounts with strong, complex passwords. Use symbols, numbers and capital letters or even strange phrases to lock your cloud content from prying eyes.

5. Blur out your face

Try to blur out your face on potentially compromising images. You wouldn’t want any risqué selfies to appear on Twitter, Reddit or Facebook would you? 

6. Don’t email your private photos

Email accounts, especially those without two-factor authentication enabled, are easy targets for hackers looking to steal your personal details and intimate photos.

7. Format your memory card

When you sell or lend your phone, be sure to format and overwrite the internal data with a secure erase tool to make sure that nothing remains. 

8. Cover up your hotspots

Don’t share confidential information on open Wi-Fi hotspots unless you use a proper mobile security solution to block unrequested connections. Hackers can monitor your traffic and grab your banking credentials and compromising pictures without your knowledge.

9. Disable auto-uploads

Disabling auto-uploads for cloud storage solutions such as iCloud and Dropbox will help. These services, as useful as they may seem, create cloud-based versions of your images without filtering your most sensitive files from the harmless ones.

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